Wednesday, November 25, 2015


(1) For daily updates on happenings within the 17 agencies comprising the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), scroll down right margin to "U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS- click agency below". Click the agency and all daily newspaper, magazine and recent journal articles will  appear.
(2) For daily updates on happenings in Foreign spy services, scroll down the right margin to "FOREIGN SPY SERVICE HAPPENINGS". Click the spy agency in particular country, and all daily newspaper, magazine and recent journal publications will appear.

(3) Search TOPIC SEARCH in the right-hand margin and type in your topic of interest. All relevant posts will appear.
(4) Go to ARTICLE ARCHIVES in the right-hand margin and click a date. All articles written on that date will appear. 
Note: Click HERE and subscribe to the FREE OSINT NEWS Newsletter and get timely and important happenings that unfold in the U.S. & Foreign spy agencies!

Enjoy the Caribbean islands? Enjoy spy thriller novels, movies or TV series? If so, you'll enjoy the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean"! Get to know Corey and learn how the CIA and Intelligence Community (IC) operates!


      I encourage everyone to watch the documentary "Spymasters: CIA in the crosshairs" which will air this Saturday (November 28th) at 9pm on the Showtime network. As a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), I am often frustrated with the pessimistic portrayal of the CIA emanating out of the minds of various newspaper journalists, TV anchormen/women and Hollywood producers.

Watch trailer of "The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs"

     This archetypal portrayal of a "cynical" CIA is absent in the "Spymasters" documentary. It was written by Chris Whipple and directed by Gedeon Naudel, who interviewed all 12 living CIA directors and top CIA agency operatives. Both men changed their heretofore dubious opinion of how the CIA operates after producing the documentary, and the result appears to be a factual account of the true feelings and mental turmoil the CIA staff experienced in their attempts to keep American's out of harm's way.
      In today's world of increased terrorist recruitment and attacks, we all should encourage and applaud such truthful and civilizing reporting of the CIA and the rest of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) whenever and wherever it appears.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". His opinions are his own and do not reflect those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Pubic OSINT resource sites are vast in number

     Below are 53 Public OSINT resources I search through often to find timely information on issues involving national security, home grown terrorism, overseas terrorism, and other intelligence issues. If you are a journalist covering the Intelligence Community (IC) beat, a writer of spy fiction (or non-fiction), an intelligence professional who is retired or still working inside the IC, or simply a curious spy buff, these resources are for you.
     Hint: When I have a timely topic to research, I often find it directly on the home page of these resources. If not, I type it in to the "Search" box, which most of these resources have. 
You will be amazed at the information you collect. Enjoy!

Homeland Security & Defense Center (RAND Corp.)

Small Wars Journal

Center for Terrorism & Security Studies

Navy Recognition: online magazine for naval defense & maritime security industry.

Defense Web

Defense Blog: military & defense news

Foreign Affairs

Stratfor Global Intelligence

Geopolitical Monitor

Radicalisation Research

Strategy Page

Homeland Security News Wire

Updates on U.S. Intelligence Community agency happenings

Updates on Foreign Spy Agencies

OODA Loop: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act


Defense News

Military Times

Defense One

Enjoy the Caribbean islands? Like to read spy thrillers? Journey the Caribbean Basin with CIA Spymaster Corey Pearson!

Air Force Times

Federal Times


Defense 24

DOD- Dept. Of Defense

DOD News

OSINT sometimes overlaps with HUMINT and SIGINT

Breaking Defense

Homeland Security

The National Interest

IHS Jane's 360

IHS Jane's 360- Terrorism & Insurgency

Nextgov- Cyber Security

Nextgov- Defense

CIA official site

Security Week

Debka File

National Defense

     In addition, these sites offer even more OSINT resources:




Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Friday, November 13, 2015


Paul Landis was a few feet behind the Kennedy's when the shots were fired.
     The Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) invited me to meet Paul Landis, a former U.S. presidential secret service agent, who was with President John Kennedy the day the president was assassinated. Landis was in Dallas as part of the Kennedy Secret Service detail November 22, 1963, and one of the bullets came over his right shoulder. I can't wait to meet him and hear the details of Kennedy's assassination. The meeting will take place this Sunday, November 15, 2015 in Cleveland.

     Landis was within a few feet of the presidential limousine, the top of which had been removed at the president's request. He and several other secret service agents were trailing the limousine, watching for any unusual movement in the crowds of people who lined Dallas streets to get a view of the nation's chief executive.

     When he heard the first shot, his eyes turned toward where he thought the shot had originated. Still searching the crowd, there came another shot in quick succession. Landis later reported, "And when my eyes came back to the president again, it was a third shot and that was the one that hit him in the head."

     After he joined the secret service, he was transferred to duty at the White House, where his responsibilities included guarding First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and the couple's children, Caroline and John Jr. Many newspaper photos from the past show Landis with the Kennedy children or Mrs. Kennedy. In one photo, he is running alongside a galloping horse ridden by Caroline, who is now U.S. ambassador to Japan.

John F. Kennedy, Jr. with Secret Service Agent Paul
Landis on the South Lawn of the White House
     He remembers wearing sunglasses and standing between the President and Mrs. Kennedy at the Dallas airport. Everyone was smiling, including the First Couple...then minutes later the smiles through Dallas and America turned into frowns as the nation, and world, mourned. Paul Landis said afterwards, "We had a job to do and that was to protect the president or whomever we were assigned to and if you fail, you fail."

     It will be an interesting meeting this Sunday with Landis and I hope to learn more facts to relay. In the days before the diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder, he and other secret service agents were haunted by the assassination. He grieved inwardly for decades. Oddly, he said, agents rarely spoke of their inner feelings on the death of the president and there was no professional psychological counseling for the Secret Service agents who witnessed the murder of the president.

     "No, that wasn't even thought of and heard of," said Landis, matter-of-factly. But the hurt was there in his mind and in his memory. "Very much so," he added.

     The Discovery Channel produced a documentary, "The Kennedy Detail," where each man told his story of the assassination and how it had impacted his life. Perhaps, the documentary provided a therapy for Landis, who said, "That's the best thing that's happened to me since the assassination." He has recently stated that he is no longer haunted by the event that day and talks easily of the Kennedy Detail and of what he saw and heard that November day in Dallas.

     After the Dallas assassination of President Kennedy, all presidents have been secured much more and Landis talks on how heavily armed agents are these days, although their weapons are not easily visible under their jackets. On that tragic day in November of 1962, he was carrying a .38 pistol.

     At Parkland Hospital, where President Kennedy was rushed, Landis sat in a hallway with Mrs. Kennedy. He said she stared into space and said nothing. We all remember the media photos of her, dressed in a pink suit covered with her husband's blood stains. The images of her in the hospital and leaving Dallas on the Air Force Once trip back to Washington sticks in all our minds.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Saturday, November 7, 2015



DHS issued this bulletin to local police and sheriff's deputies concerning a terrorist who could be entering
the U.S. through Mexico.
      Using OSINT research, I researched the connection between international narcotics trafficking and terrorism. An article written in June of 2014 by journalist Lemo Jakara in the Jakarta Post caught my attention, for it stated how  difficult it is to determine how widely terrorist groups are involved in the illicit drug trade or the breadth and nature of cooperation between drug cartels and terrorist groups.
     However, the magnitude of the numbers involved make the relationship worrisome. For example, according to the UNODC’s World Drug Report 2007, the total potential value of Afghanistan’s 2006 opium harvest accruing to farmers, laboratory owners and Afghan traffickers reached about US$3.1 billion. In addition, it is reported that in 2004, some 400 tons of cocaine was exported from one Latin American country, with an estimated domestic value of $2 billion. I could go on, but you get the picture.
     How much of this  money is used for perpetrating acts of terrorism? Estimates vary. But even a small percentage would be more than sufficient for some individuals or groups to plan, finance and carry out terrorist acts. Indeed, drug trafficking has provided funding for insurgencies and those who use terrorist violence in various regions throughout the world, including in transit regions.
     In some cases, drugs have even been the currency used in the commission of terrorist attacks, as was the case in the Madrid train bombings in 2004. In another instance, Moroccan police captured 34 Moroccans in Casablanca trying to move 1,300 pounds of cocaine through the country. Not surprisingly, authorities discovered that these smugglers were aided by and in league with a terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda, as well as Latin American drug cartels.
     The Casablanca drug bust was huge and since then authorities not only in Morocco, but worldwide, began focusing more heavily on possible links between drug smugglers and terrorism: “We are dealing with an apparent coordination and collaboration between drug traffickers and terrorists linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,” said Moroccan Interior Minister Taieb Cherquaoui after the arrests. Little wonder why Morocco has in recent years been praised for its control of terrorism within the country and the region.
     This is not the first time Latin American drug cartels and terrorists have been connected. In June 2009 it was widely reported that cartels had been smuggling terrorists across
the Mexican border into the United States.
     Despite the "illegal immigration" political bickering we are all inundated with on a daily basis, thousands of the "illegals" have been caught crossing the U.S. border and you may be surprised that our government has been classifying many of them as  “OTMs” (Other Than Mexicans). Please watch this video before reading further:

     Some experts believe that a substantial number of these OTMs are Muslim terrorists because records from a detention center near Phoenix, AZ, show many of them in custody came from Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, and Yemen.
     My OSINT research uncovered three people who offered an additional "heads up" to the possibility of radical Islamists entering the U.S. via our southern border: 

*Former Arizona Congressman JD Hayworth said during an interview, "There are efinitely people out there who mean to do us harm who have crossed that border.”

*An Arizona rancher, who lives right near the border, found a Muslim prayer rug on his property. He said, “This is a good indicator that there are a whole lot of people other than just Mexicans coming into the United States.”
*Dave Stoddard, a former border patrol agent with 20 years of experience stated, “The American public has been kept in the dark about this whole issue.”

     A narco-terrorist connection most likely exists and the smuggling of humans, including radical Islamic terrorists, could be smuggled into the U.S. via the many drug pipelines that have been created over the years. Terrorists do not believe in the use of the drugs, but they certainly understand that illicit drug smuggling is a way to make money.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

OSINT NEWS Newsletter- Issue 5: 11/03/15

     Hello, and welcome back! The theme of this newsletter is espionage and counterespionage. As Russia and Egypt downplay the possibility of a bomb smuggled onto the Russian jetliner as the cause for the dreadful crash in the Sinai Peninsula, the U.K. and American intelligence agencies are suggesting that a bomb is, indeed, a highly-likely cause. 
     Since you will be inundated with facts on this tragic event in the days to come, this newsletter will focus on other, less media-covered events within the U.S. and foreign spy agencies- important espionage and counterespionage happenings within the CIA, NSA, Germany's BND foreign spy agency, Britain's MI6, the FBI, and others...enjoy! 
Germany's foreign intelligence service, BND, spied on top French officials as well 
as members of the European Commission on  behalf of US spy agency NSA
*National Security Council (NSA) activities inside Germany suspicious to former federal judge turned government-appointed special investigator Kurt Graulich. He found a "large number" of NSA catchwords aimed at entities in two-thirds of all EU nations, according to Germany's news magazine "Der Spiegel". Graulich was appointed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition to investigate the NSA's activities and he will submit his 300-page report to the German parliament's inquiry. Specifically, it details the activities within Germany of the US National Security Agency (NSA) from 2004 until late 2013. The issue arose from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden when he leaked details of NSA electronic spying in 2013. Graulich checked the secret list on parliament's behalf and uncovered a "surprisingly large number" of European targets on a list said to have been disallowed by Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency on the grounds that they violated European or German interests.
US defense contractor leaks state secrets to Chinese honey trap
*China's spy agency, Britain's MI6 and Japanese intelligence in counterintelligence spat. UK intelligence chiefs warned that China is using honey traps and cybercrime as their main spy tactics. The warning appeared in a recent M16 memo issued to all serving and former members of the intelligence agencies. It states, “The Chinese service are becoming increasingly proactive and aggressive in approaching former members of HMG, including the Security and Intelligence Agencies. Chinese spies are still using the good old-fashioned honey trap to get secrets out of middle-aged businessmen and government officials."
     Meanwhile, while China is being accused by Britain's MI6 of using honey trap and cyber-espionage tactics to steal UK’s military secrets, Beiging has started a counter-espionage hotline to report suspected spies in the nation. They recently arrested four Japanese who were accused of spying. The Chinese spy agency launched a counter-espionage hotline that targets foreign organizations and individuals who conduct espionage activities or instigate and sponsor others in conducting them. The alleged four Japanese "spies" arrested were a male spy caught in Jilin Province allegedly carrying out espionage activities near a military facility. The Jilin is a coastal province off the coast of East China Sea facing Japan with which China has a dispute over uninhabited islands. DefenseWorld.Net
CIA accused of recruiting IDF soldiers
*Is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recruiting Israeli Defense Force (IDF) officers and soldiers? There are reports from the information security department, part of the IDF's intelligence force, that a warning was issued to all its officers and soldiers of the IDF to beware of recruitment attempts by the CIA. The advisory called on soldiers to "be aware and report any unusual incidences." 
     Attached to the warning was an article from Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot chronicling a phenomenon circa 2012 in which post-army youngsters, upon arrival in the U.S., were taken in for extensive questioning by American authorities in an attempt to recruit their services. The Jerusalem Post

John Kiriakou, CIA Hero
* Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): Well, he served his time. John Kiriakou spent 14 years in the CIA as an analyst and counterterrorism officer. I wrote an article on him because I consider Kiriakou a CIA hero and wanted to protest his incarceration- Kiriakou does not deserve to be imprisoned. At one-point he was responsible for leading the team that found Abu Zubaydah, one of the highest ranking al-Qaeda officers at the time. But Kiriakou’s career has become defined by a decision he made after he left the CIA. In 2007, he became the first CIA official to publicly acknowledge the agency’s use of waterboarding. WCQS News
* Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): In a repeat of history, the CIA and the Saudi Arabia have united to launch a proxy war against Russia by supplying Islamist groups in Syria with advanced weapons and sophisticated missiles. Remember the Stinger shoulder-firing missiles the CIA supplied to the mujahedeen, which brought down countless Russian jet fighters and helicopters? American Free Press
Spy Clyde Lee Conrad got life in prison

* Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): A former FBI spy hunter fled Cuba at age 9. After 25 years of hunting spies, Joe Navarro is now writing books (11 of them so far) and working on a film project with George Clooney based on his yet-to-be published novel "Three Minutes to Doomsday." The book deals with Navarro's role in tracking down Clyde Lee Conrad (Above photo), an Army officer who sold secrets to Hungary during the Cold War. CNN Money
* National Security Agency (NSA): Terrorist organizations took advantage of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks and adapted, NSA officials said. The surveillance group's deputy director, Richard Ledgett, has seen high-profile groups change their operations ever since scores of stolen classified documents put the NSA’s modus operandi on display. I wrote a satire on Snowden's aftermath: Let's Outsource Domestic Spying to China New York Daily News
The National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) released the second in a four-part series of videos from its “Know the Risk – Raise Your Shield” campaign. It focuses on social media deception and informs us of the inherent dangers that the use of social media – Facebook, Twitter, etc. – could present if protective measures aren't taken. There are two videos: a shorter attention-grabber and a second longer video about social media deception, how government officials or the public can recognize threats and what steps can be taken to minimize the risk of being deceived. The NCSC provides leadership and support to counterintelligence and security activities of the US Intelligence Community (IC) and others who are at risk of intelligence gathering or attack by foreign spy agencies.

Importance of HUMINT "walking
the streets" intelligence
gathering featured in Spectre film
 *Spectre, the new 24th James Bond movie supports human intelligence (HUMINT) over hi-tech electronic intelligence gathering methods- it pits boots-on-the-ground intelligence against information gathered through illicit hacking and high-tech surveillance. In the movie, England's MI6 spy agency is under threat from a new counter-terrorism wing that abolishes the long-running HUMINT program of which Bond is a part. They rely on an international alliance of networks, each sharing data gathered online and from an extensive network of cameras and databases.
     The head of MI6 wants to “shake up the intelligence service” and rose rapidly to the top via an old-boys network kinship with members of the cabinet – and to bring a “dark ages” system “into the light”. Such measures are resisted by the another secret service (MI6) leader who maintains that the most vital function of human agents is to make the kind of life-or-death call that a computer cannot. The Guardian
NSA "PRISM" not massive privacy threat most believe
*National Security Agency (NSA) pries much less into our private lives than Social Media does.  In the wake of Edward Snowden’s leak of classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents to The Washington Post and The Guardian, the U.S. went on a "right to privacy” revolution and the NSA data collection program known as “PRISM” was seen as a violation of our liberties. In actuality, PRISM is not the massive threat to our privacy that most believe it to be, for the NSA’s collection of phone records does not include the contents of a call. Only the number dialed, the number from which the call was made and the length and date of the call was recorded. Though some information can be gleaned from this data, it is not nearly as extensive as what is available on social media — which is not only readily available to intelligence organizations but also to the general public. Loyola Phoenix- Univ. of Chicago
*The Department of Homeland Security Secretary Johnson and National Counterterrorism Center Director Rasmussen never used words "Islam", "Islamic", or "Muslim" even once while testifying before Congress  on terrorist threats to the nation. During the full House Homeland Security Committee hearing October 21 on “Worldwide Threats and Homeland Security Challenges”, Rasmussen referred to Islamic terrorists 32 times – but by other names: "terrorists, terrorist groups, terrorist actors, ISIL-inspired terrorists, terrorist organizations, foreign terrorist fighters, foreign fighters, violent extremists, extremists, extremist terrorist actors, violent extremist actors," and "extremist actors." CNS 
Note: Click HERE to view the complete transcripts of Hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee- "Worldwide Threats and Homeland Security Challenges" October 21, 2015, featuring Nick Rasmussen, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes about the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. We're always looking for different perspectives regarding the Intelligence Community- got a thought, article or comment you'd like to submit? Contact us on the Secure Contact Form

Thursday, October 22, 2015


     The NSA declassified a top secret document entitled “Maybe You Had to Be There” The SIGINT on Thirteen Society Shoot Downs of U.S. Reconnaissance Aircraft” by Michael L. Peterson. It was originally published in the clandestine journal Cryptologic Quarterly in 1993, but the NSA declassified the manuscript after inadvertently publishing it several days ago. It appeared on the NSA website with all of its classified passages intact.
     Section 3.1(d) of executive order13526 permits the declassification of properly classified information when there is an overriding public interest in doing so. This has hardly ever, or never, been done before and apparently was used to justify the slip-up. Section 3 reads as follows:
"3.1(d) It is presumed that information that continues to meet the classification requirements under this order requires continued protection. In some exceptional cases, however, the need to protect such information may be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure of the information, and in these cases the information should be declassified. When such questions arise, they shall be referred to the agency head or the senior agency official. That official will determine, as an exercise of discretion, whether the public interest in disclosure outweighs the damage to the national security that might reasonably be expected from disclosure...."
     The NSA Public Affairs Office has not explained what was "exceptional" about this particular NSA historical study, what the overriding public interest in it was that justified its complete declassification despite its presumed eligibility for continued classification, or what the unavoidable damage was expected to result from its disclosure.
     It is believed by some that the swift NSA declassification of the document was to conceal the fact that they had mistakenly published the full classified text of the document on its website, even after refusing requests by some to have it declassified- in 2009, aerospace writer Peter Pesavento requested its declassification under the Mandatory Declassification Review process, and NSA released a heavily dedacted version of the document. Pesavento then appealed to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel, whereupon the Panel agreed to publish some additional portions of the document while the rest remained classified.
     But then on May 9, the National Security Agency puzzlingly published the entire document on its website. Instead of blacking out the classified portions, they were inadvertently highlighted and the entire hush-hush manuscript was available. On May 10th, when NSA was asked about the complete disclosure of top secret portions of the document, they removed it from their website without more ado.
     But, Secrecy News and others had already copied the uncensored classified document. The classified document does not appear to meet current classification standards. but simply wanted to preempt the re-posting of the classified document by hastily declassifying it.
     Interestingly, the classified versions of the article that was posted online by NSA, with the classified paragraphs marked with the basis for their classification. According to Secrecy News, this material has previously been regarded as a threat of "serious damage" to national security if disclosed. But, it has all been made freely available for public consumption.
     OSINT News read the document and it appears to be distant from any possible national security threat to America. It is very informative with its depiction of signals intelligence uncovering the thirteen attacks by the Soviets upon U.S. aircraft between 1950 and 1964. In short, it’s “ancient history”, according to the author.
     OSINT News feels this published manuscript pays homage to the NSA for its protection of us all, decades ago, in the face of Soviet global aggression and the threat of thermonuclear war. “Baby boomers”, like myself, remember the practice drills in elementary school, where we hid under 
our school desks in case of a soviet nuclear strike. I don’t know about you, but as a child I was fearful of Soviet aggression. I’ll never forget the U-2 incident in 1960, when Gary Powers was shot out of the sky. Last night I saw "The Bridge of Spies" and it brought back old memories of the U-2 spy plane shoot-down over Russian.
     Apparently, the NSA has put back this 44-page article by NSA historian Michael L. Peterson on its website. Gary Powers was a brave American and was one of 13 incidents where the Soviets attacked our reconnaissance aircraft. This now available document is a testimonial to the NSA and its attempts to shield us from harm. And, OSINT News is confident they're continuing to do so. We support the NSA, along with the entire IC, in their efforts to protect America from harm in this new war against radical Islam. And, we support the NSA and the rest of the IC in keeping their sources and methods secret, a difficult task in the digital world infested with a prying Congress, Wikileaks mentality hackers, and a naive public of what this war against global jihad entails.
     The issue over this particular NSA classified document is not a threat to America's national security. In this new war, which will no doubt last longer than the Cold War, the real threat is willingly leaking vital information by individuals privy to such knowledge. There is no paper trail in a digital world. 
     John Jay, agent of America’s diplomatic affairs, frustrated that the Congress consisted of too many members to keep America’s most vital secrets, stated, “Congress never could keep any matter strictly confidential; someone always babbled”...circa 1784.
     OSINT News upholds the belief of Katherine Graham, who stated, "We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows".

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes about the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). A portion (10%) of this site's ad revenues is donated to the AFIO. The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. We're always looking for different perspectives regarding the Intelligence Community- got a thought, article or comment you'd like to submit? Contact us on the Secure Contact Form